For some unknown reason this lifelong New Yorker loves Southern food, especially dishes made with rice. Rice is a big part of food from places like Louisiana and South Carolina and as expected its history is complicated. How rice came here, how it was cultivated and what it represents is inextricably tied to slavery, African culture and what it means to be a Southerner.
If you’re interested and have some time What Really Happened with Vista is an insider’s report on the internal Microsoft culture that caused them to fumble the development and release of Windows Vista.
Pretty much as long as there has been human civilization, there has been lead. While it’s certainly useful, that usefulness has come with a terrible price. It’s been known since the Greeks and Romans that lead is harmful but it didn’t stop us from using it. It took a “fringe” scientist by the name of Clair Patterson, who accidentally discovered widespread lead contamination while trying to measure the age of the Earth, to finally convince people that the use of lead needed to be strictly curtailed.
It’s hard not to see parallels with the current battle of global climate change. Despite overwhelming evidence a few industry-supported voices still manage to keep us from doing anything. Will there be a modern Clair Patterson to finally bring us to our senses or are we doomed?
In an interview with the NY Times, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams says Twitter’s role in Trump’s rise is ‘a very bad thing’.
Commenting on the view of Silicon Valley as the “modern Prometheus”, Williams said:
What we tend to forget is that Zeus was so pissed at Prometheus that he chained him to a rock so eagles could peck out his guts for eternity,” he said. “Some would say that’s what we deserve for giving the power of tweets to Donald Trump.
You have to hand it to the Republicans, they don’t even pretend to care about anyone other than rich people and corporations. So the recent FCC votes to begin dismantling Net Neutrality doesn’t come as a surprise at all.
In the short term, you shouldn’t expect anything significant to change since there will be numerous lawsuits from various groups. In the longer term, as long as the GOP controls Washington the assaults on consumers will continue and Net Neutrality destruction is a priority. If this bothers you, check out the EFF and vote for those who think your rights as a consumer are worth protecting.
Most people are at least vaguely familiar with the early history of modern digital computers, particularly their importance in breaking the Nazi Enigma codes during WWII. Less familiar is the computing machines that preceded them.
In response to the need for more and faster computation, researchers developed a series of analog computers that did the job but were complicated and difficult to maintain. Inspired by (and in some cases actually using) the switches used to connect telephone calls, digital computers using relays were developed that used base 2 arithmetic. As useful as they were these relay computers would end up mostly being forgotten, replaced by machines based on vacuum tubes.
Politico takes a look at the Media Bubble that gave us the false impression that Trump couldn’t possibly win. The trends that created that bubble are still in place and the movement of jobs away from local news organizations to the Internet has done nothing to shrink it.
My local newspaper has shed jobs, pages and local content all the while pretending this isn’t happening. Whenever I actually pick up a copy to read I’m always struck by how much of the content is sourced from USA Today and other national news organizations. All of which are based securely in the Media Bubble.